Monday, May 9, 2011

News 5.9.2011

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Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Monday, May 9th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* President Vaclav Klaus is set to travel to the Republic of Azerbaijan
for a four-day official visit next week.

* The Public Affairs party has called on the government to include the
bill on public tenders in the reform package to which it will link its
future when it asks Parliament for a vote of confidence in June.

* Prime Minister Petr Necas presented a proposal for a new civil code
to the press on Monday.

* According to a fresh poll, the level of the Czechs' satisfaction with
the EU has reached an all-time low.

* The unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent in April.

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Czech president to travel to Azerbaijan on official visit
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President Vaclav Klaus is set to travel to the Republic of Azerbaijan
next Monday for an official four-day visit to the country, which is
Eurasia's largest. The Czech president will meet with his Azerbaijani
counterpart Ilham Aliyev, as well as the country's prime minister,
Artur Rasizad, and other senior politicians. On occasion of Mr. Klaus's
visit, a number of bilateral agreements between the Czech Republic and
Azerbaijan will be signed, including an agreement on the mutual
protection of investments. Azerbaijan is rich in oil and gas; energy is
one of the fields in which the Czech Republic strives to expand its
collaboration with the country. Despite closing many of its embassies
world-wide, the Czech Republic in March opened a new embassy in
Azerbaijan.


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Junior coalition member calls on government to add public tender law to
list of proposals to be voted on in June
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Radek John, the leader of the junior government coalition partner
Public Affairs, said on Monday that the government should include the
bill on public tenders in the reform package to which it will link its
future when it asks Parliament for a vote of confidence in June. Mr.
John said that unless the Cabinet undergoes further personnel changes
and approves the new law on public tenders, his party would not be
willing to vote in favor of the government's reform proposals. The
proposed change in legislation aims to make public tenders more
transparent and thus help fight corruption.


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Prime minister presents updated civil code
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Prime Minister Petr Necas presented a proposal for a new civil code to
the press on Monday. The proposal seeks to establish a new,
comprehensive legal framework for the core areas of private law. Its
approval is one of the government's top priorities and the proposal
should be voted on by the lower house of Parliament before the summer.
The new civil code, which took some ten years to compile, is composed
of five parts and deals with questions of private and family law,
property questions, and contract law as well as inheritance issues. The
current civil code came into effect in 1964 and, despite being updated
since, does not take into account all areas of modern life.


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STEM poll: Czechs' satisfaction with EU membership reaches all-time low
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According to a fresh survey by the STEM agency, the satisfaction of
Czechs with their country's membership in the EU has reached an
all-time low. Exactly half of the respondents polled said that they
were pleased that their country was a member of the union, the lowest
figure yet since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. Sixty-nine
percent of the 1286 respondents answered that they believed the union's
decisions lacked direction, while only 48 percent said they would vote
to join the EU again if a referendum was held today. In 2004's
referendum, over 77 percent of Czechs voted in favor of joining.


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Former director of Central Bohemian Art Gallery faces up to two years
in prison
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Police have charged Jan Trestik, the former director of the Central
Bohemian Art Gallery, in connection with an illegal attempt to remove a
painting by Pablo Picasso from the territory of the Czech Republic.
According to a Czech Police spokeswoman, Mr. Trestik signed a form
authorizing the removal of the painting from the country. Since it was
declared a cultural landmark, it cannot be exhibited abroad without an
official permit by the Culture Ministry; Mr. Trestik was not authorized
to sign the permit. He might face a prison sentence of up to two years.


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Former foreign minister to open academy of diplomacy
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Former foreign minister Cyril Svoboda said on Monday that his plan to
open a private academy of diplomacy should also attract students from
abroad to the Czech Republic. He added that his academy would not be in
competition with the foreign ministry's academy of diplomacy, where the
country's future diplomats are educated. Mr. Svoboda said that Stefan
Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European
Neighborhood Policy, as well as Mr. Fule's predecessor Vladimir Spidla,
had already pledged their support for the new academy.


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Unemployment rate drops down to 8.6 percent
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The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic has decreased
significantly. While in March, 9.2 percent of the population was
unemployed, the number dropped to 8.6 percent in April, amounting to a
total of 33, 920 fewer Czechs seeking work. Analysts say that the drop
in unemployment came as a surprise, and that several factors played a
role, among them the recovering economy, but also the fact that
seasonal labor, in areas such as agriculture and construction, has
started back up again after the winter.


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Clarinetist and singer Ivo Pesak dies at age 66
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The clarinetist and singer Ivo Pesak died in Prague on Monday morning,
at the age of 66, from complications following a bypass surgery. Ivan
Mladek, the leader of the Banjo Band which Mr. Pesak played with, said
that the death of his band mate came as a great loss. A funeral
ceremony for the musician is to take place next Monday.


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Female leopard killed by male leopard in Brno zoo
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A breeding attempt at Brno zoo on Monday ended fatally for a female
leopard, which was meant to be mated with a male leopard. The male, who
had shown no prior signs of aggression, attacked the female and
strangled her. A spokesperson for the zoo said on Monday that breeders
were unable to intervene and separate the two. She added that within
the species, such attacks are relatively frequent.


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Czechs defeat Russia 3:2 at World Ice Hockey Championships
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The Czech ice hockey team defeated Russia 3:2 Sunday evening, their
fifth straight win in this year's World Championships in Slovakia. The
victory solidifies the reigning champions' first place position in the
qualification round and they are the only team to have not yet lost a
point. The 15th to 17th minutes saw two goals for the Czechs by Jakub
Voracek and Jaromir Jagr. Much of the second period was dominated by
fierce attacks by Evgeny Artyukhin that left star forward Milan
Michalek and Karel Rachunek injured. The Czechs will now face Germany
on Monday in the final match of the second round.


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Weather
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Conditions over the coming days are expected to be sunny and warm with
daytime highs of up to 25 degrees.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Suspected Pakistani terrorist arrested in the Czech Republic
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Czech police on Sunday confirmed the recent arrest of a Pakistani
national suspected of murder and terrorism. Although few details of the
case have so far emerged, the fact that it comes hard on the heels of
the arrest of eight foreign nationals suspected of assisting the
radical Islamic organization Shariat Jamaat of Dagestan has fueled
fears that the Czech Republic may be serving as a logistics base for
terrorist activities elsewhere in the world.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/suspected-pakistani-terrorist-arrested-in-the-czech-republic


Sports News 9.5.2011
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The Czech hockey team continues streak at the World Championships with
wins over Slovakia and Russia; Czech tennis player Kvitova breaks into
the women's top ten for the first time; League-leaders Plzen defeat
Mlada Boleslav to retain three point lead over Sparta; defending
Premier League champions Petr Cech and Chelsea suffer defeat against
Manchester United; Kenyan runners dominate Prague International
Marathon.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/sport/sports-news-2011-05-09


Jeffrey Martin - creator of stunning panoramic photograph of historic
Strahov library
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Jeffrey Martin recently scored a hit on the internet with a spectacular
360-degree photograph of the Philosophical Hall at the library at
Strahov monastery in Prague. In fact, his 40-gigapixel panoramic
picture of the beautiful Baroque room - which users can zoom in and out
of on their computer screen - is believed to be largest indoor
photograph ever taken.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/jeffrey-martin-creator-of-stunning-panoramic-photograph-of-historic-strahov-library


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